FAITH: Role pastors play not unlike that of Pope Francis
The next time you read a story about Pope Francis dealing with conflict and reconciliation, substitute the name of your pastor.
FAITH: The idea that we make God in our does not fairly describe biblical faith
Faith is not about aligning God with one’s pre-conceived notions of life and religion. Faith is about aligning self with God.
FAITH: No place for denigrating other faiths in prayer
These are ceremonial prayers and were already fairly innocuous even when they were not prayed in Jesus’ name.
FAITH: Congregations use various methods to try to pack the pews
When it comes to "pew retention" at church, the duty should be shared by every member.
FAITH: There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the faith development of children
Certainly it is important for a congregation to help youth find and articulate faith, but such treasure often grows by slow accretion, consisting of things as ordinary as seeing adults sing hymns of faith together or bow their heads to pray.
FAITH: Why be abrasive when witnessing to the love of God?
Because I was meeting a friend at the gate, I was subjected to this self-righteous verbal assault for 10 minutes, a man with a portable headset loudspeaker ensuring that nobody missed a single syllable. I was never so glad to see my friend finally appear.
FAITH: Buidling bridges doesn’t mean blurring our differences
Our nation is polarized these days in terms of race, class and religion. I read recently that counties with a Whole Foods grocery store vote overwhelmingly Democrat while counties with a Cracker Barrel vote overwhelmingly Republican.
FAITH: Ministers can offer a different perspective on church-owned housing
What kind of home is appropriate for a pastor? The answer depends on the socio-economic level of that congregation, the neighborhood where the church is located, the symbolic message the church wants to convey the community and its members and even the kind of pastor who may be attracted to congregation with a home in a certain school zone or ZIP code.
FAITH: Southern phyche says conversion is heart rather than head
What role does rationality play in the embrace of religion?
FAITH COLUMN: Putin aligns takeover of Crimea with religious sentiments
We Western Christians often oversimplify events that are in reality far more complex than we grasp.
FAITH COLUMN: Should prayers include issues such as currency value and financial policy?
An African archbishop’s prayer for his nation’s currency value and order that Satan release his old on the central bank call to question whether issues such as money and the economy should be included in prayers.
FAITH: Failing to understand others’ religious motivations leads to marginalizing
There is little wiggle room in the church any more and those who seek consensus are often portrayed as soft-headed and soft-hearted.
FAITH: Legislation on guns in churches not state’s responsibility
I hate the idea of guns in church. But because I hate even more the idea of government in church I’ve changed my mind on this one.
FAITH COLUMN: Prayer was focal point of angry debate
The church will always struggle with the temptation to use power to define the parameters of holiness and reach consensus on the nature of God. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us, all sinners.
FAITH: Definition of distractions may differ
Most distractions the wise pastor learns to ignore, hoping to lead by example: a siren screaming, a ring tone chirping, an entire family obliviously walking down the center aisle during the reading of the scripture, a sanctuary too hot or cold, drooping flowers, precariously tilted candles, even frightened birds flying through the sanctuary. Eventually the calm pastor gets the upper hand.